Vote expected Friday on whether or not Montco schools should go all-virtual

By KYW Newsradio 1060

PHILADELPHIA (KYW Newsradio) — The Montgomery County Office of Public Health plans to vote Friday on whether or not schools will go virtual for a two-week period starting Nov. 23. Parents had a lot to say during Thursday's public hearing on the issue.

Parent Tanya Schrieber said it's important to not minimize the danger COVID-19 poses in the community.

"But I do feel that in Montgomery County and nationwide, the messages are very confusing,” Schrieber said.

She said she's hearing contradictory messages, like masks are important but not while playing football or eating out, and said the CDC and the county health department have conflicting information about the exposure a person needs to have in order to get the virus.

"I don't know how we can get kids to take this seriously, when even our own health department can't give us a clear, consistent message of how to be safe. Instead, we're going to allow bars to stay open while we close school,” Schrieber said.

Meanwhile, Judy Lofton, a mother and president of the Perkiomen School Board, said they have had students and teachers there who have tested positive, but none of them contracted the virus in school, and none spread COVID-19 in the school either.

Lofton thinks their focus should be on mitigating risky behavior rather than closing schools.

A noon vote is scheduled Friday, in which board members will decide whether Montgomery County schools will go all virtual for two weeks over Thanksgiving.

The county has reported 512 new cases over the past two days.

And County Commissioner Val Arkoosh said the 14-day average positivity rate has increased to 5.4%, up from almost 4.4% a month ago.

She warns the virus will only become more dangerous as the weather turns colder, and more people gather inside.